The Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill which issued for public consultation in May 2015 proposed a comprehensive consolidation and modernisation of the legislative provisions on consumer contracts for the sale of goods, the supply of services, the supply of digital content and on unfair terms in consumer contracts. The subsequent progress of the Scheme was delayed by the publication later in 2015 of two European Union legislative proposals on consumer contracts for the supply of digital content and the sale of goods. As these proposals overlapped substantially with two of the four main parts of the Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill, the view was taken that there was little point in introducing legislation in the Oireachtas if large parts of that legislation would have to be repealed or substantially amended within a relatively short time of its enactment. Though progress on the EU legislative proposals was slower than originally anticipated, Directive (EU) 2019/770 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services and Directive (EU) 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods have both now been adopted and were published in the Official Journal on 22 May 2019. Member States are required to adopt legislation to give effect to the Directives by 1 July 2021 and to apply that legislation from 1 January 2022.
The provisions of the two Directives will be incorporated in the Parts of the Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill dealing with contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services and the sale of goods respectively. The amendments to Directive 93/13/EEC on unfair terms in consumer contracts which have been agreed by the European Council and Parliament and are due to be formally adopted in the near future will similarly be given effect in the Part of the Scheme dealing with unfair contract terms. I propose also to incorporate in the Scheme the provisions that give effect to Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer information, cancellation and other rights and the amendments to that Directive agreed by the European Council and Parliament. While the necessary changes to the Scheme of the Bill will require considerable work, that work has commenced and I hope to be able to issue a revised Scheme for consultation later this year.